Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Kerry heads to Paris for new round of Gaza peace talks

    Read more

  • ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Middle east

Syria accused of ‘systemic torture’ in Qatar-backed report

© HRW

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-01-21

A team of senior war crimes prosecutors released a report on Monday accusing the Syrian regime of carrying out "systemic torture and killings" of thousands of men who are thought to be victims of the regime’s notorious security agencies.

The 31-page document was commissioned by Qatar, a key backer of the Syrian rebels, and given to CNN and The Guardian a day before Syrian peace talks were due to be held in Geneva.

The report was written by Desmond de Silva, former chief prosecutor of the special court for Sierra Leone; Geoffrey Nice, the former lead prosecutor in the trial of former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic; and David Crane, who indicted Liberian president Charles Taylor.

The document relies on the unauthenticated testimony and photographs given by the source, who remains unidentified for security purposes.

The informant, a photographer who claims to have defected from the Syrian military police, presented forensic experts commissioned by the London legal firm representing Qatar with around 55,000 digital images of 11,000 dead detainees.

He claims they died in captivity before being taken to a military hospital to be photographed.

"Overall there was evidence that a significant number of the deceased were emaciated and a significant minority had been bound and/or beaten with rod-like objects," said the report.

‘Smoking guns’ evidence against Assad

Some had no eyes while others showed signs of strangulation or electrocution, according to the 31-page document.

De Silva told the Guardian that the evidence provided the "smoking gun" proving that the regime of Bashar al-Assad had carried out "industrial-scale killing".

Crane called the evidence "amazing" and suggested there was a strong case for prosecution.

"Now we have direct evidence of what was happening to people who had disappeared," he explained.

"This is the first provable, direct evidence of what has happened to at least 11,000 human beings who have been tortured and executed and apparently disposed of."

The authors said they found the informant and his evidence to be credible after subjecting them to "rigorous scrutiny" and have made their findings available to the United Nations, governments and human rights groups.

Sunni Qatar was quick to back rebels who rose up in 2011 against the rule of Assad, who is backed by Shia powerhouse Iran.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2014-01-21

  • SYRIA - IRAN

    UN rescinds Iran’s invite to Syria peace talks

    Read more

  • FRANCE - SYRIA

    Syria’s Assad says France is ‘proxy state’ for Qatar, Saudi Arabia

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Growing fears for French teens en route to fight jihad in Syria

    Read more

COMMENT(S)